A game camera, also known as trail cameras or wildlife cameras, allow for the viewing of animal activity in a particular area absent of human interaction. The best wildlife trail camera are reliable, affordable, low on battery power and deliver clear photos and video. The Browning Strike Force HD Max is an example of an excellent wildlife trail camera.
These cameras use motion detection; when the sensor is tripped by an animal, the trail camera will begin video recording or take a photo.
Hunters, homeowners and wildlife watchers often ask themselves what is the best wildlife trail camera? The answer to this, as with most things in life, is it depends. It depends on your budget, what you are going to use the trail camera for and what features you would like the game camera to have.
A multiple trail camera setup is advised for complete coverage of an area, or to cover more sites.
Wildlife cameras are robustly engineered and usually strapped onto trees or attached to poles, posts or trail cam mounts.
What Do The Best Wildlife Trail Cameras Feature?
A wildlife scouting camera has to be secure, weatherproof and durable because of the conditions in which it works. Depending on your use case, there are a number of factors to consider when searching for the best game hunting camera for your purposes:
- Trigger Time
This describes the difference in time from motion sensing to scouting and tracking camera activation. Too long a trigger time may lead to missed photo opportunities.
- Detection Range
This refers to the distance at which motion is detected. Typically, the best game trail cameras feature further detection ranges. A related factor is the field of view. This denotes movement detection in relation to angle widths. Basically, the wider the field of view, the more time the wildlife game camera has to take a picture of the animal.
- Video and Image. Quality
For photography enthusiasts, the quality of the video and images produced by the trail camera is essential. Measured in megapixels, the more of them a wildlife tracking camera has, the better the video and images will be.
- Power and Battery Life
Most game scouting cameras last between six months to one year on a set of batteries, with a full set of between six and twelve batteries. The best wildlife trail cameras are feature rich, making them drain their batteries faster. Many game trail cameras use AA batteries, with higher-end trail cameras using solar power.
With all that in mind, what is the best wildlife trail camera?
1. Best Overall – The Browning Strike Force HD Max
This trail camera offers its users upgraded features such as faster trigger speed (0.135 – 0.7 seconds) and shorter recovery time (0.5 seconds). Also added is a Capture Timer mode that allows full operational control over the camera.
The Browning Strike Force HD Max 20 MP trail camera captures video in crisp High Definition 1600 x 900p, with detection ranges of up to 80 feet. Nighttime pictures are crystal clear due to its built-in Illuma-Smart feature, which automatically adjusts the 90-foot infrared flash.
Images stored on the SD card are viewable on a Windows or Mac PC. Also reviewable are time-lapse videos using the downloadable Buck Watch Timelapse Viewer Software, from the Browning Trail Camera’s website.
Check the price of the Browning Strike Force HD Max at Amazon
2. Runner Up – Browning Spec Ops
The Browning Spec Ops compact game and wildlife camera features a 20 MP sensor and the ability to shoot full HD 1920x1080p video, perfect mix for some stunning videos and images.
Additionally, its TV-out jack and USB mean you can view said crisp and clear videos and pictures on your home big-screen TV.
Its motion sensor that uses passive infrared can sense movement from 80 feet in the distance, and its invisible nighttime vision does not startle the game.
Finally, this Spec Ops wildlife trail camera from Browning uses 8 AA batteries, offers a trigger speed of between 0.4 and 0.7 seconds and comes with a built-in 2” color viewing screen.
Check the price of the Browning Spec Ops Trail Cam at Amazon
3. Best Value for Money Model – Vikeri Hunting Trail Camera
By design, the Vikeri bang-for-your-buck camera trap captures video in full HD 1080P, photos in 20MP and clear audio, even at night.
Video and photo playback is made possible by its 2.4” color LCD screen as well as being rated at IP66 waterproof, thanks to its heavy-duty protection casing.
The probe lens is sealed making it dust-proof, drop-proof and rain-proof, making it work just as well in forests, deserts and open ranges.
Its wide-angle lens captures any animal within 120 degrees, at distances of up to 80 feet.
Check the price of the Vikeri Wildlife Trail Camera at Amazon
4. Best Mini Trail Cam – Wosports Mini Game Trail Camera
The advantage the Wosports Trail Camera has over the others is its diminutive size. This allows it to hide in plain sight even more.
Its automatic, built-in full infrared filter can capture 1080P Full HD video and 12 MP photos, day or night.
It uses four AA batteries, and not the eight or twelve other larger trail cameras require. This is by design, meaning on stand-by mode, it can stretch a set of batteries out longer.
The Wosports Mini trail camera is ideal for smaller or tighter spaces, especially for home security purposes.
Check the price of the Wosports Wildlife Trail Camera at Amazon
5. Best Budget Game Cam – Wildgame Innovations Terra Extreme
The affordable, small Wildgame Innovations Terra Extreme wildlife trail camera packs lots of functionality. Its 14 MP sensor includes an in-built infrared detection and flash range of 65 feet.
Furthermore its twenty-one infrared LEDs capture images and video without scaring the animals off by spooking them.
It can run a 32 GB SD card, as well as being packaged together with bungee cords that attach it to posts or trees.
Check the price of the Wildgame Innovations Trail Cam at Amazon
6. Best Designed Wildlife Trail Cam – Bushnell Trophy Cam
This Bushnell Trophy wildlife trail camera offers advanced features, albeit at a higher price. Its resolution is 16 MP and its trigger speed is 0.3 seconds. Its illumination and detection ranges are 100 feet, with built-in low-glow LED night vision flash, which helps capture video and images during the night.
For your money, you will get dynamic video capabilities and a quick recovery time, 30-second 720P video, battery life of up to 12 months all while capturing 35 daytime and 35 nighttime pictures every 24 hours.
Every photo records temperature, time, date, moon phase and several other important biological research metrics.
Check the price of the Bushnell Trophy Trail Camera at Amazon
7. Best Solar Wildlife Trail Camera – My Animal Command Solar Powered Trail Camera
Wildlife trail cameras that are powered by the sun’s rays make all the sense in the world. They lessen power source concerns almost entirely. The My Animal Command trail camera offers a solar pack of 2500 mAh, enough to power the camera night and day. HD video and 16 MP images are captured well, as is audio.
Trigger time is fast at 0.5 seconds, and all media is reviewable thanks to its 2.4” screen. Due to its 90-degree PIR detecting angle, you can get expansive shots while its burst mode allows for 3 rapid-fire shots to be taken.
It is rated at IP66 shockproof, dustproof and waterproof, making it ideal in harsh weather. Mounting bracket is included with your purchase.
Check the price of the My Animal Command Trail Cam at Amazon
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